Five-year-old bitten by copperhead snake

Faith Wilson

August 6, 2010 8:26:26 PM PDT
A 5-year-old girl in Harnett County was bitten on the foot by a copperhead snake, while walking in her grandfather's yard this week. Faith Wilson says her days of walking barefoot in the yard are over after she stepped on the snake.

"I just stepped down there and it bit me," she said. "And I thought I had scraped my foot against a stick."

Wilson's grandfather Walter Wilson said the copperhead was about 18 to 20 inches long.

"They were inside I had already killed the snake and they were inside talking to 911, at that time (her foot) had a hole in it and it was starting to turn black around the holes," he said.

Wilson was treated at UNC Hospitals and released. Her parents say it will take about a month for the swelling and pain to go away.

Wilson says this is the first time he's ever seen a copperhead around his Harnett County home.

Snake experts say copperheads are prevalent in North Carolina.

Wildlife officers say residents are just as likely to run across a copperhead not only in the county, but in city backyards too. They say North Carolina leads the nation in the number of reported copperhead bites each year.

NC Wildlife Officer Randy Smith says copperheads aren't usually aggressive, and during the summer are looking for shade and water.

"Copperheads if you step on them or go near them, they will freeze up till you bypass, usually they will bite if you step on them or you play with them or you reach down to try and remove them," Smith said.

Wildlife officers say if you come across a snake leave it alone. They say if you get bit, seek immediate medical care.

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